Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Numbers game

All my life I've been comfortable with numbers, having a good memory for dates and phone numbers and a facility with arithmetic that sometimes becomes a compulsion. Sometimes this can be a problem. I may be keeping it in the day, but I can't help counting them.

C was told she had cancer on 8 June. A month later an oncologist told us that the median prognosis (I think he must have meant the mode, rather than the median) for survival was six to nine months after diagnosis. Today we are halfway through that period, and C does not look like a woman close to death to me. Normally I wouldn't be so hubristic as to say it (although I've been thinking it quite often over the past month or two), but the hospice nurse said it too, last week, and it needs saying. Some days are better than others, and C has had a viral infection that has brought her low at times in the last week or so, but the better days are very good, and we still manage to take our pleasures where we find them.

Here she is at our favourite Indian restaurant, the Ganges in Exeter, yesterday: what do you think?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Why the title?

When I titled this blog, I was using the phrase in the sweetly ironic way Bill Watterson did in Calvin and Hobbes, as a pay-off line to a strip of the aforementioned pair joyfully contemplating a summer's day spent sitting in a tree, doing, well, nothing in particular. Ironic distance is what I do, after all, and C & I's plan for the immediate future involved as much sitting in metaphorical trees doing nip (and indeed nap) as we could manage.

Well, that whimsy's bit me on the backside. The days are indeed packed: although for C and I the days quietly unfurl with little in the way of significant narrative or incident or engagement with the world – we still await our first-footer this year, for instance – I find that the we are living them with such an intensity, such concentration and distillation of feeling, that I often have no spiritual, emotional, mental nor creative energy left for keeping up the blog, uploading pictures...at least that's my story.

In other news: The dog ate my homework.

Now I'm here: C&I are, well, wellish. Some days are better than others, and today was sunny and sharp; we went for a walk in the Devon blue red and green, a mile and a half, the sort of thing C would not have managed as well this time last year, as weight loss and morphine have combined to rid her of many of the pains and strains that were limiting her mobility. More impressive yet, she cooked and, more importantly, ate a roast dinner.

There will be new pics soon, I promise. Here's one from November to be getting on with